Why is that problems always present themselves right before I’m supposed to start writing? This is one of the many banes of a writer’s existence and one of the things that others may not realize.
We put our pants on the exact same way everyone else does. We have problems like everyone else does. We live our lives like everyone else does. Maybe because we have a dramatic flair, do these things seem bigger than life. But they don’t. Except to the person they are happening too.
Prime example is my youngest. Love him to death without question. However, he’s still a student, an acting student, and tends to do things on a big scale. He sells items on eBay that he’s been collecting since he was a kid. He uses them for the expenses his monthly stipend won’t cover and for his grad school savings account. Smart kid except when it comes to returns or disputes over items. Those he calls me for and being the good mom, I try and help. Ah, heck, let’s face it…I enable…and this is bad.
If you’re wondering just what this has to do with my writing life, let’s think about it. Kid gets into dispute, parent drawn in, kid’s dispute becomes parent’s dispute. Writing goes out the door and writer parent rubs their head in frustration. I could have just said no but I didn’t because I’m a good mom. Kinda…I really should learn to just let him work it out himself…he will be twenty-three in four days.
But I didn’t and am once again wondering why I allowed myself to be pulled into his drama. Now, there is a difference between offering advice on a problem and just dealing with that problem. This kid, like most in his generation, is more pig-headed and needs to learn things on his own. My instinct is that I can do it faster and better and with the time difference, I nearly have things completed and taken care of before he even gets up. Sigh. Again not good.
Right now, I am looking at a loss of four writing hours and it’s all my fault. Not his. Some would say it is his fault but again, let’s look at this…I could have and should have said no…without a doubt. Unfortunately, there is one reason I didn’t with this transaction. It was tied to my PayPal account and instead of doing a return the right way, this customer pissed me off and went right for the money. Now, I have to jump through the hoops with said kid because the customer didn’t do their part correctly.
And yes, this is part of a writer’s life. Not much different than yours probably yet maybe in one big way. I will take this very negative experience and write about it. It might be a flash fiction, which is what I think about this whole incident. It might be a longer story where I torture the kid, the customer or the entity holding me back from my money, directly or indirectly. I could use the whole thing to write about the injustice of the system, the stupidity of the customer, the charm of the kid or anything my little mind can think about.
That’s what it really means to be a writer. A famous quote is to ‘just open a vein’ each and every time you write. Here’s a place you can look at how many times that was said and by whom. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/09/14/writing-bleed/ Frankly, I like the one who said ‘drop by drop’ and that was in the 1800s. And sometimes it is like this. Sometimes you have to dig deep to get the meaning for each and every writer. Other times, you only have to just squeeze a little.
We’re all different and each of our writing experiences will be different. Get two writers together give them the same prompt and we’ll come up with two totally different things. If it’s something one of us knows intimately, we might not need to open a vein at all. The drop by drop method just might work.
Many people who deal with authors on a daily basis have been heard to liken it to herding cats. Ever tried to herd cats. Here’s a classic video on the phenomena and believe me, it’s exactly like that.
But by the same token, it’s fun, enjoyable and I love working with authors and I love to write. This is the life that I’ve yearned for since I was twelve years old. Heck, for all the complaining I do, I wouldn’t live my life any other way. Now I’m truly off to write.
Until next week…